We continue with our discussion on the Total depravity of Man. (For Part 1 of this series see SOTERIOLOGY 101: The Total depravity of Man – Part 1) Jonathan Edwards considered widely by many as that used by God sovereignly to start the first “Great Awakening” vividly captures the total depravity of man and the consequences of such depravity. In his famous sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” he writes “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else that you did not go to hell the last night; that you suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.”
A pastor once told a story that while riding on a plane en route to a pastor’s conference, another pastor who was his friend began scribbling on a piece of paper until it was completely covered. He than handed the paper to his friend and asked what was the first word he wrote to which his friend replied he had no idea. Then he showed his friend what he had done. He gave his friend another small blank piece of paper and told him to write “Christ” on it. On top of the first word and all over the rest of the paper, he was then told to write “Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Dispensational, fundamental, evangelical, liberal, protestant” and perhaps a dozen more such terms. His point was clear; the simple message of Jesus Christ is sometimes so encumbered with secondary matters and human interpretation that the world has a vague or a wrong idea of what the Gospel really is.
One of the biggest problem of evangelical Christianity today is that there is that the gospel presentation is being diluted. There’s little or no presentation of repentance of sin and surrendering your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A lot of those who present the Gospel ask people to make Jesus their Savior, but do not emphasize that becoming a Christian is a complete and total surrender of their lives to Jesus Christ. Hence we see a lot of alleged conversion when the truth of the matter is a lot of people never really understand that being a Christian is a life commitment for Jesus Christ.